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May 24, 2006 5:56:22 PM

What Linux would you guys recommend for a new Linux user. I have read many posts on linux software but not sure which exactly would be good starting point for me. Thanks for yall help

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a b 5 Linux
May 24, 2006 8:44:57 PM

Quote:
What Linux would you guys recommend for a new Linux user. I have read many posts on linux software but not sure which exactly would be good starting point for me. Thanks for yall help


http://tdlp.org
http://ubuntuforums.org/
http://www.fedoraforum.org/

You should probably try out Ubuntu x86_64 or FC5 x86_64

If you want something user friendly check out ubuntu x86_64 http://mirror.mcs.anl.gov/pub/ubuntu-iso/CDs/5.10/ubunt...

http://www.ubuntu.com/screenshots

If you want something cutting edge go for FC5 x86_64
http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora/core/5/x86_64/iso/FC-5...

http://www.linuxforums.org/reviews/fedora_core_5_review...

OpenSuSE is kewl http://mirrors.kernel.org/opensuse/distribution/SL-OSS-...

http://gnuman.com/content/view/61/28/

If you want something stable ( and several versions behind ) for server use check out CentOS http://mirrors.kernel.org/centos/4.3/isos/x86_64/

Be sure to check out: http://distrowatch.com/

A good x86_64 distribution can run 64bit and 32bit code and can also run other operating systems using VMWare, QEMU, DOSBox, WINE, Cedega and many others.

http://www.vmware.com/products/server/

http://qemu.org/

http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/news.php?show_news=1

http://winehq.com/

http://transgaming.org/ aka Cedega


Linux can also emulate other architectures such as Power PC, ARM, Sparc, Commodore 64 and many others as well as game consoles (Nintendo, Sega and others).

Whatever Linux cannot run natively it can run in a Virtual Machine or in an emulator.


You may also find useful info below:

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/software/Whats-favoriet-...

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/software/distro-AMD64-SM...
May 25, 2006 1:10:31 AM

Thanks for the help. I have decided that I will get Ubuntu. Looks really cool and seems to have more configuration than windows. Thanks again for the help
Related resources
May 25, 2006 1:10:49 AM

Thanks for the help. I have decided that I will get Ubuntu. Looks really cool and seems to have more configuration than windows. Thanks again for the help
a b 5 Linux
May 25, 2006 8:02:36 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the help. I have decided that I will get Ubuntu. Looks really cool and seems to have more configuration than windows. Thanks again for the help



yvw :-D

Good luck
May 25, 2006 2:18:11 PM

by the way what linux are you using ?
a b 5 Linux
May 25, 2006 2:36:53 PM

Quote:
by the way what linux are you using ?



FC4 / FC5, various Knoppix CDs/DVDs, CentOS, DSL, etc
a b 5 Linux
May 25, 2006 4:21:18 PM

I have recommended ubuntu to many newcomers, it's very user friendly and has a fine support base (of both users/forums and software packages). Fine choice indeed!
May 26, 2006 1:59:55 AM

Do yall think that Linux will stand strong after vista comes out ???
May 26, 2006 2:39:34 AM

Even if Vista lives up to the hype, I believe Linux will continue to gain momentum. Too many people looking for a cheap (free) decent alternative to Windows...
May 26, 2006 2:49:15 AM

Yeah Thats true. I just wanted an opinion Becausse I didnt feel like changing to Linux and then back to windows.
May 26, 2006 3:48:52 AM

You don't have to... you can always dual-boot. I do, Linux_0 does... and a lot of people do. The only difference is how much time we spend on Linux vs. Windows. I spend more time on Windows, and Linux_0 spends more time on Linux.

:) 
a b 5 Linux
May 26, 2006 7:34:34 AM

Quote:
You don't have to... you can always dual-boot. I do, Linux_0 does... and a lot of people do. The only difference is how much time we spend on Linux vs. Windows. I spend more time on Windows, and Linux_0 spends more time on Linux.

:) 



Aye this is true :-D

I spend all my time under Linux except when I play stubborn windoze-only games.

If you have the disk space, you can dual, triple or quad boot no problem.

You can also run some OSes in virtual machines or emulators, unfortunately those aren't perfect yet but they have gotten very good. :-D
a b 5 Linux
May 26, 2006 1:17:05 PM

Quote:
Do yall think that Linux will stand strong after vista comes out ???

One of the major draws of Linux is the engineering and scientific applications which, surprisingly, some applications are Linux/BSD only! . In addition, the fact is that (currently,at least) Linux and BSD are more stable, reliable, and secure which will always have a place in enterprise and server applications. We'll see what kind of improvements Vista will bring, but even if it is rock-solid, the fact is Linux and BSD can be as low-requirements as you need it to be: a fine server can be run on a 200MHz pentium with 64 Megs of memory (not high-load, but for home use it'd be plenty)

As for dual-booting, it's actually pretty easy now with many of the new distributions of Linux to maintain access to the Windows install you have. There are litterally tons of guides on how to do this procedure, and as always linux_0 and I are more than willing to help you out if you sriously want to give it a spin.

That being said, you don't even need to invest to that level, you can try linux without actually even touching Windows or your harddrive with one of the many Linux LiveCDs. In addition to giving you a low-risk taste of Linux, they make damn fine diagnostic and recovery tools. Again, many tutorials on how to use such bootable CDs as a recovery vessel.

Happy computing.
May 26, 2006 2:29:51 PM

Linux seems to be a really good program. Where could I get the LiveCD to look at the Linux programs or do I need to order them ? Sorry to ask too many questions but Do you guys think that Linux will support future games later on ?
a b 5 Linux
May 26, 2006 2:37:29 PM

Quote:
Linux seems to be a really good program. Where could I get the LiveCD to look at the Linux programs or do I need to order them ? Sorry to ask too many questions but Do you guys think that Linux will support future games later on ?



Knoppix!

http://www.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V4.0.2CD...

http://www.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/knoppix-dvd/KNOP...

You do not have to order anything you can download the ISO ( s ) and burn them to CD or DVD yourself.

All you need is a machine with a CD or DVD recorder, some blanks and ISOrecorder ( if you have windoze ) http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/download/ISORecorder...

http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/HowTo.htm

OR

Linux with cdrecord or k3b

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/software/memtest86-ISO-b...

OR *BSD, Mac OS, or Unix with cd recording capabilities.
a b 5 Linux
May 26, 2006 3:11:18 PM

A good place to start is, like linux_0 stated, a liveCD(1) distribution(2) called knoppix. There are some distributions (distros as some call them) that are targeted for specific purposes, like a magor split is whether they're meant to be a livecd or installed. Another fun livecd distro to try is kororaa, although it's not nearly as useful as others.

Basically, the idea with a liveCD is to download a CD "image" which is burned to a CD, restart your PC with the CD in the drive and boot from the CD(3). This loads up a version of a GNU/Linux operating system.

Here are some helpful links if you want to give this stuff a spin:
Knoppix liveCD homepage, to download the cd image
Kororaa liveCD homepage
Instructions and a free download for burning a cd "iso" image, if you need it
Guide on how to enter most BIOS's, or just read your computer's screen on boot.

(1) A liveCD runs from the cdrom and memory, and does not install stuff to the hard drive, so when you remove the cd and reboot, Windows will be just how you left it. great for testing things out, and it can also be used to recover data from a Windows computer that won't boot up all the way anymore and can't be recovered in other ways.
(2) Distributions are collections of software that are put together by various groups that can vary widely, but ultimately all use the Linux kernel underneath (think of this as if there were differnet versions of Windows with different programs installed by default, including different "look and feel" stuff)
(3) You may need to reconfigure your BIOS to allow booting your system off of a CD and to do so before trying the harddrive, unfortunately there is no standard for entering the BIOS configuration and where in the configuration this exists. The above link is a fine start for figuring out how to get into the BIOS configuration and, once there, usually it's pretty easy to find the boot settings.
May 26, 2006 3:56:46 PM

Thanks a lot for all the help I will go get some blanks today and start it up. If I have some more questions I'll ask you guys. Thanks for all the help again.
May 26, 2006 6:46:51 PM

ok Thanks those links helped a bunch.
a b 5 Linux
May 27, 2006 10:16:49 PM

Oh sure, make the reasonable suggestion that he reads related material and guides before jumping headlong into it... :D 

Really though, it's the way to get the best experience out of the whole thing (read: prevents giving up before you get to the good stuff)
a b 5 Linux
May 28, 2006 1:38:43 AM

Quote:
Oh sure, make the reasonable suggestion that he reads related material and guides before jumping headlong into it... :D 

Really though, it's the way to get the best experience out of the whole thing (read: prevents giving up before you get to the good stuff)



:lol:  :lol: 

:D  :D 

It's very important to be patient and not give up on it too soon.
May 28, 2006 2:14:01 AM

I wont give up on Linux 8) . It seems to be too good of a software to pass up :lol:  .
a b 5 Linux
May 28, 2006 3:57:37 AM

Quote:
I wont give up on Linux 8) . It seems to be too good of a software to pass up :lol:  .



:-D

If you fail the first time try again and again until you get it :-D

We'll help you as much as we can :-D
May 29, 2006 1:54:33 AM

I tried LiveCD for Ubuntu but it was very very slow right after the loading was complete, is this normal?

Ive been using, Windows my whole life, but I wanted to see what all the fuss is about, but seems like everytime I try using Linux I hit a bump in the road, I'm probably Jinxed. But anyway, How long should I wait till after the loading is complete in order to start using the OS from the CD?
a b 5 Linux
May 29, 2006 3:10:14 AM

Quote:
I tried LiveCD for Ubuntu but it was very very slow right after the loading was complete, is this normal?

Ive been using, Windows my whole life, but I wanted to see what all the fuss is about, but seems like everytime I try using Linux I hit a bump in the road, I'm probably Jinxed. But anyway, How long should I wait till after the loading is complete in order to start using the OS from the CD?



This usually happens when you don't have enough RAM.

What were the specs of the machine you tried it on?


I think http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/damns... would run a lot better.

The trouble with Live CDs is that they have limited resources to work with. When you click on a program the system has to read the data from the CD, uncompress it and run it, which can take for ever especially on a slower or older system.

Also a live CD usually has a lot less RAM to work with because a pretty large percentage of your RAM is used as a RAM disk for temporary storage.

On Knoppix for example you can specify how much RAM to use:

knoppix mem=128M # Specify Memory size in MByte

http://www.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/knoppix-cheatcod...


I believe the Ubuntu live CD has similar options.

Of course the more RAM you have the better.

If you have enough RAM you can load the entire CD to RAM and run it from there which will be VERY fast. But you need a large amount of RAM to do that.

:-D
a b 5 Linux
May 29, 2006 12:12:57 PM

Quote:
I tried LiveCD for Ubuntu but it was very very slow right after the loading was complete, is this normal?


The unfortunate truth is that reading from an optical drive is much much slower than reading from a hard disk. As such, anything that can't fit into memory much be read from the cd. If you have sufficient memory (read: more than a gig) you can make your testing experience much better by telling Linux to load all of the contents of the cd to memory (usually, at the boot: prompt, typing in a kernel name and adding docache switch). After some quick searching, it looks like the Ubuntu liveCD doesn't support the switch, but I know Knoppix does.

Anyway, another source of slowdown can be your system, I second linux_0's call to find out your system specs.
a b 5 Linux
May 29, 2006 12:55:48 PM

Quote:
I tried LiveCD for Ubuntu but it was very very slow right after the loading was complete, is this normal?


The unfortunate truth is that reading from an optical drive is much much slower than reading from a hard disk. As such, anything that can't fit into memory much be read from the cd. If you have sufficient memory (read: more than a gig) you can make your testing experience much better by telling Linux to load all of the contents of the cd to memory (usually, at the boot: prompt, typing in a kernel name and adding docache switch). After some quick searching, it looks like the Ubuntu liveCD doesn't support the switch, but I know Knoppix does.

Anyway, another source of slowdown can be your system, I second linux_0's call to find out your system specs.


That's absolutely right!

Optical drives are still relatively slow both as far as the transfer rate is concerned as well as the average seek time.

Most CD drives offer 7200 KB/sec maximum reads with 160+ms Access Time

The minimum transfer rate is probably about 2400 KB/sec ( 16x )

160ms is not for a full stroke by the way... IIRC it's for 1/3 stroke
May 29, 2006 1:34:15 PM

OK heres my sytem:

AMD Athlon 64 3200+
ASUS AN8 SLI
1 Gig Corsair Value RAM
EGeforce 7600GT
Chaintech Sound CArd.

Now, I tried It again yesterday since you guys got me into the mood of Linux again, but this time I tried the 32-Bit version of the Live CD, And right after loading (Everything said OK), I get the Display Adapter error, something about it not being set up correctly. This didnt happen with my 6800XT, but now with my 7600 this is what it gives me. Maybe becuase its a new card?

Do you guys think that I should just Dual boot? It should be better for troubleshooting purposes.
a b 5 Linux
May 29, 2006 2:47:18 PM

Quote:
OK heres my sytem:

AMD Athlon 64 3200+
ASUS AN8 SLI
1 Gig Corsair Value RAM
EGeforce 7600GT
Chaintech Sound CArd.

Now, I tried It again yesterday since you guys got me into the mood of Linux again, but this time I tried the 32-Bit version of the Live CD, And right after loading (Everything said OK), I get the Display Adapter error, something about it not being set up correctly. This didnt happen with my 6800XT, but now with my 7600 this is what it gives me. Maybe becuase its a new card?

Do you guys think that I should just Dual boot? It should be better for troubleshooting purposes.



Dual boot.

A native Linux install would run much faster / better.

You might want to consider Ubuntu or FC5


http://forumz.tomshardware.com/software/default-ftopict...


You will also need the nVidia drivers!


i386:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_display_ia32_1.0-876...



x86_64:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_display_amd64_1.0-87...
a b 5 Linux
May 29, 2006 4:39:21 PM

I definatel agree with linux_0 here, a dual-boot situation makes it much easier to fix any issues that may be, and of course would provide a much-improved experience since it will be (much) snappier than a livecd.

BTW, that's a fine machine, the slowdown was most definately the cd accesses.

The first thing to consider is where that installation will go. Do you have a spare hard disk? If not, some repartitioning of (one of) your existing disk will be required to free up space for Linux.
May 29, 2006 4:44:47 PM

Right now I have My Win XP on a 250GB HDD, and a spare 80GB HDD that i dont use at all only to store my TEMP files or images from various Windows Programs, but nothing installed on it.

BTW, I know it can be kinda frustrating when someone keeps asking you questions on a particualr subject wich to you must be a reflex by now, so I wanted to say that thanx for your help so far and for any future troubleshooting advise that you give me, and the same goes to Linux_0. I appreciate it..... :D 
a b 5 Linux
May 29, 2006 6:55:25 PM

Quote:
Right now I have My Win XP on a 250GB HDD, and a spare 80GB HDD that i dont use at all only to store my TEMP files or images from various Windows Programs, but nothing installed on it.

BTW, I know it can be kinda frustrating when someone keeps asking you questions on a particualr subject wich to you must be a reflex by now, so I wanted to say that thanx for your help so far and for any future troubleshooting advise that you give me, and the same goes to Linux_0. I appreciate it..... :D 



:-D

As bmouring said you either need a 2nd disk or you need to repartition your existing 250GB drive. It's often easier to use a 2nd disk ( as long as it's healthy ).

I'd say Ubuntu or FC5 it. GRUB will take care of booting XP or Linux :-D

Here's some decent info on how to setup a dual-boot system:

http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux/RHL-9-Manual/i...

Take it with a grain of salt, RH9 is quite old. The concepts are still the same however.
a b 5 Linux
May 30, 2006 1:49:41 AM

I'd say boot up a nice system tool disk* to check the health of the 80 gig drive (might as well do the 250 while you're at it) and, if it looks healthy, change the BIOS to boot from the 80 gig (if your BIOS has per-disk boot separation like mine does) and continue with the howto listed by linux_0 or one of the countless other guides online, generally speaking they're all fairly well explained to get you up and running.

*Some options here include: using a Linux LiveCD that has either ide-smart or smartmontools on it. Try either[code:1:31fb4909fc]ide-smart /dev/hdX[/code:1:31fb4909fc] or [code:1:31fb4909fc]smartctl /dev/hdX[/code:1:31fb4909fc] (assuming the drives are IDE, if SATA use /dev/sdX instead), where X is a,b,c...

You can also use a tool disk like the ultimate boot cd which includes multiple disk checking programs including SMART scanners (harddisk heath monitoring)
a b 5 Linux
May 30, 2006 8:47:22 AM

Great suggestions :-D

Could also run /sbin/badblocks, etc
a b 5 Linux
May 30, 2006 2:12:56 PM

Quote:
Could also run /sbin/badblocks

Indeed, they would show up in the SMART report, but it's farily length and can get buried, this puts it right out in the open.
a b 5 Linux
May 30, 2006 5:45:28 PM

Quote:
Could also run /sbin/badblocks

Indeed, they would show up in the SMART report, but it's farily length and can get buried, this puts it right out in the open.


:-D

You can also dd the drive a few blocks at a time and see what happens.

Crude but effective :D 
a b 5 Linux
May 30, 2006 7:32:24 PM

Crude is a bit of an understatement :)  but it is indeed effective. dd, without a doubt one of the most powerful tools ever conceived. I currently use it to back up a weekly byte-perfect copy of my RAID0 so that in case of an emergency, I can be back up and running in a matter of minutes.
a b 5 Linux
May 30, 2006 7:39:44 PM

Quote:
Crude is a bit of an understatement :)  but it is indeed effective. dd, without a doubt one of the most powerful tools ever conceived. I currently use it to back up a weekly byte-perfect copy of my RAID0 so that in case of an emergency, I can be back up and running in a matter of minutes.



Indeed :-D

dd is awesome!

g4l, g4u and partimage are very kewl too ;-)
a b 5 Linux
May 31, 2006 5:57:44 PM

I looked into each of those at some point but the didn't seem to be any faster at making the image (probbaly due to the fact they use dd underneath anyway) but for other types of backups, they are invaluable.
a b 5 Linux
May 31, 2006 6:10:48 PM

Quote:
I looked into each of those at some point but the didn't seem to be any faster at making the image (probbaly due to the fact they use dd underneath anyway) but for other types of backups, they are invaluable.



Indeed :-D

Some are network capable btw ;-) very kewl stuff
June 25, 2006 10:59:40 PM

Quote:
What Linux would you guys recommend for a new Linux user. I have read many posts on linux software but not sure which exactly would be good starting point for me. Thanks for yall help


Well you can never go wrong with fedora linux: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/ .... It is the most solid, stable(an I think still the most common) distribution....

and you can get an answer to any question you will ever have here: http://www.fedoraforum.org/

My big advice to you is to pick the 'KDE' desktop interface over 'GNOME' when doing an installation.... You can pick both during the installion if you want, and switch back and forth betwwen them to try them both after installation.... Once you start using 'KDE' you will never want to use windows again, accept for games....
a b 5 Linux
June 27, 2006 10:50:53 AM

Quote:
What Linux would you guys recommend for a new Linux user. I have read many posts on linux software but not sure which exactly would be good starting point for me. Thanks for yall help


Well you can never go wrong with fedora linux: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/ .... It is the most solid, stable(an I think still the most common) distribution....

and you can get an answer to any question you will ever have here: http://www.fedoraforum.org/

My big advice to you is to pick the 'KDE' desktop interface over 'GNOME' when doing an installation.... You can pick both during the installion if you want, and switch back and forth betwwen them to try them both after installation.... Once you start using 'KDE' you will never want to use windows again, accept for games....




FC is great :-D I use it, works fine, love it.

Any modern distro is going to be good tho and don't forget *BSD is great too :-D
a b 5 Linux
June 27, 2006 12:50:34 PM

Agreed. I recently have been using FreeBSD and, while it's not for the uninitiated or at least a person with some time, persistence, and a spare computer to read forums/guides, it's a lot easier to use than I was expecting. Ports and Packages make things really nice too.
a b 5 Linux
June 27, 2006 12:58:14 PM

Quote:
Agreed. I recently have been using FreeBSD and, while it's not for the uninitiated or at least a person with some time, persistence, and a spare computer to read forums/guides, it's a lot easier to use than I was expecting. Ports and Packages make things really nice too.




Linux and *BSD work great together :-D

Good stuff :-D
June 28, 2006 5:06:25 PM

I was just coming over here to ask almost this same question. Thanks all! :) 

Only question I have right now is how will these distros run on a slower PC with limited RAM? I have an old K6-2/400 (and a P2/300 but the K6 has more RAM) that I think has 192MB. Would that run well enough for learning? Is there a 'lite' distro if that would be too slow?

I could run it on one of my primary systems but there are more users than computers as is (even more if you count the 2 toddlers but they don't use it without supervision yet).

Mike.

PS: Linux_0, a couple months ago you pointed me to a Knoppix d/l to recover my data from a hosed XP install... I probably didn't mention that I got everything I needed - thanks for your help. (I never remember to do that at the appropriate time)
a b 5 Linux
June 28, 2006 5:20:20 PM

Quote:
I was just coming over here to ask almost this same question. Thanks all! :) 

Only question I have right now is how will these distros run on a slower PC with limited RAM? I have an old K6-2/400 (and a P2/300 but the K6 has more RAM) that I think has 192MB. Would that run well enough for learning? Is there a 'lite' distro if that would be too slow?

I could run it on one of my primary systems but there are more users than computers as is (even more if you count the 2 toddlers but they don't use it without supervision yet).

Mike.

PS: Linux_0, a couple months ago you pointed me to a Knoppix d/l to recover my data from a hosed XP install... I probably didn't mention that I got everything I needed - thanks for your help. (I never remember to do that at the appropriate time)





192MB is not much but almost any decent distro should run minus some eye candy.

More RAM is always better :-D

DSL should run better than most distros with only 192MB.

http://damnsmalllinux.org/

http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/damns...

Also check out DSL-n



Another option is VMWare or QEMU under windoze -- you can run just about any Linux or BSD distro in a Virtual Machine as long as you have a lot of RAM in your main system.

http://www.vmware.com/download/server/

http://qemu.org/


Good to hear you saved your data :-D
June 28, 2006 6:47:29 PM

Thanks for the quick reply. I'll look into those.

I may be able to acquire a P3/450 and can get 256MB in it. I wonder... I might be able to rearrange things and get it to 320 or 384. would that be noticeably better than 256?

I'd just get a new system - I've been aching for a dual core for a year now... and my XP2600 needs to be downgraded from primary to wife's, (and linux would get her 800mhz/384meg system) but the money just isn't there right now. :(  (And for the first time in 15+ years, the office has faster PC's than I do... :cry:  )

What should the minimum RAM be? Is it like XP 'says' it'll run on 128meg, but you really don't wanna run with less than 256, etc.? I guess that would depend on the distro - I am aiming for Ubuntu and/or Fedora.

I'm not a total noob to unix - well I am to Linux - but I had a short stint using HP/UX (really MPE/IX - only difference AFAIK was the MPE emulator) 10 yrs or so ago. I'm also proficient (but rusty) in a few other OS's, so a more difficult distro isn't a problem for me.

Mike.
a b 5 Linux
June 28, 2006 8:54:41 PM

Honestly, there won't be a huge difference from 256 until you get to around 512. Try a distro on it that defaults to a lighter-weight desktop, like xubuntu, which is Ubuntu-based distro that uses XFCE4 as the desktop environment. It uses the gtk libraries so apps look pretty good.

You can always use Gnome or KDE on a machine with 256M, but the experience will be much more rewarding with a slightly more svelt manager.

You can, if you're a little adventurous and don't mind spending some time setting things up, look into a distro that uses one of many other great light-weight managers such as fluxbox/icebox/blackbox, fvwm, etc. etc. ( I mean there are a lot). I just suggested XFCE4 because it's very much in the spirit of a lightweight Gnome.

Once you get past 512M, either Gnome or KDE will be great (assuming you have a passable cpu) and any addition memory past that will just be gravy.

My $.02 from personal experience.
June 29, 2006 2:24:36 AM

Thanks bmourning, I'll check them out too.

Mike.
!